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Wages rise faster than inflation!

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, May 2nd, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: national, wages - Tags:

For the first time under this National government, average wages and salaries actually rose (2%) faster than inflation (1.6%), so in the last year people are ever so slightly better off – I think congratulations are in order!

Of course the rise doesn’t remotely match the loss in the real value of people’s wages over the previous 3 years of National government, or how much wages are rising in Australia (hence the highest ever number heading over the ditch), but still, it’s some relief for ordinary Kiwis.

Of course you don’t want to look at the figures too closely: the rise last quarter was 0.4%, compared to 0.5% the previous quarter and 0.6% the quarter before, so rises are slowing.  But hey, as the economy keeps struggling the Reserve Bank might actually drop interest rates at least…

Hourly rates look even better – the average is up 3.8%.  Of course that’s because the low-wage seasonal jobs have all gone and people are back on benefits, rather than wages actually rising that much.  It’s just those jobs left have higher pay rates.  And unemployment is stubbornly high at 6.3% and total weekly paid hours shrank an actual 0.6 per cent.

Probably best not compare the anaemic wage growth to the previous Labour government’s record either if you want to avoid depression.

But hey, more people are ever so slightly better off over the last year rather than worse off for once under this government, so lets be thankful for that…

26 comments on “Wages rise faster than inflation! ”

  1. Uturn 1

    Crikey, it sounds so depressing.

    “How are you today, better-average-wage-earner, Joe?”

    “Oh, well, I’m ok. I feel 0.4% better off than of late, but somehow strangely unfulfilled. It’s as if my satisfaction has been decreasing by up to 50% over the past few months.”

    “It sounds like you’re living a wage growth graph.”

    “It feels like it.”

    “Still, it could be worse, Joe. I heard those poor people live a pie graph and they’re practically starving.”

  2. Carol 2

    Has the average wage risen for those with the bottom 50% incomes? and is it equal to the rise for those in the top half?

    I see public sector wages only rose 1.6% with all the increase above inflation in the private sector.

    And there’s this in the above linked Stuff article

    However, the sudden jump reflected the impact of lower paid part-time workers dropping out of the workforce, with remaining higher paid full-time workers lifting the average pay rise.
    Statistics NZ said that in the past year fewer paid hours and part-time employees in some industries such as education and training had contributed to the rise in average hourly earnings.

    “While gross earnings continue to rise, paid hours and part-time employment have fallen for a few industries,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

    “Part-time jobs generally have lower average hourly earnings than full-time.

    This coupled with the fall in part-time employment has contributed to average hourly earnings rising faster than wage inflation, as measured by the Labour Cost Index.

  3. fatty 3

    “Has the average wage risen for those with the bottom 50% incomes?”

    Exactly…what has “average wages” got to do with the average kiwi?

  4. Jim Nald 4

    “would like to see wages drop”

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    Anyone intersted in the topic of inflation need only watch Chris Martenson’s Crash Course to quickly realise that all infaltion figures generated and released by governments are rigged to massively understate inflation.

    GDP figures are similarly rigged to massively overstate them.

    Hence, everything actually get worse by the day but most people still do not realise it.

    • Rusty Shackleford 5.1

      You have to hide the run on effects of central banking some how. It would cause a revolution if people realised they are being robbed incrementally day by day.

      Bunji seems to be calling for the RB to cut the OCR in this article, so we can only assume he’s in favour of inflation.

  6. Pete 6

    Of course, everyone with a student loan is going to get another 5% sucked out of what they make.

    • infused 6.1

      So they should.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        No they shouldn’t. In fact, all student loans should be forgiven, student fees dropped and education institutions fully funded.

        • Enough is Enough

          I have paid 90% of my 50k student loan off.

          Many of my friends have paid their whole loan off.

          Does your pproposal to forgive loans also inlcude the government repaying me $45000?

          • felix

            Does your suggestion that they shouldn’t be forgiven include taking fees from everyone who went to uni before 1990? (With interest, presumably)

            • Enough is Enough

              I raised a question, not a suggestion.

              • felix

                Sorry, I thought you were suggesting that student loans shouldn’t be forgiven because it would be unfair on people who have already paid them off.

                My mistake.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Wow, how’d I know some fool would come up with that question? But, hey, I can answer – Retrospective legislation is bad.

            • Enough is Enough


              We are on the same left hand side of society so calling someone a fool is a little bit over the top and counter-productive to whatever your objective is.

              Like most of your suggestions this one is naive in the extreme. They belong in this unattainable yet wonderful socialist nirvana that you think we are destined for. Back in the real world, no contender for government from Act to to the Greens will ever write of existing student debt.

              Free education yes. But treating hard working kiwis making a difference in New Zealand, different from those that have taken off to the UK to avoid their debts is foolish. Good luck selling that policy.

              Your intentions are sound. To make a better New Zealand for ALL. But really your extremist language and ideas are so unplatable to almost all from the right to the left, they are as I pointed out above counter-productive to the Labour movement.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You were a fool for asking a question with a self-explanatory answer.

                Back in the real world, no contender for government from Act to to the Greens will ever write of existing student debt.

                Present economic systems aren’t related to the real world in any way, shape or form. In fact, they’re based around an exponentially growing economy to pay off interest charged on money printed by the private banks with little or no limit.

                But treating hard working kiwis making a difference in New Zealand, different from those that have taken off to the UK to avoid their debts is foolish.

                I wouldn’t be treating any of them differently at all.

                But really your extremist language and ideas are so unplatable to almost all from the right to the left, they are as I pointed out above counter-productive to the Labour movement.

                Reality is an extremist position from today’s society and thus it requires extremist language. If you’re upset by this then I suggest that’s your problem.

  7. Poission 7

    The high rate of the NZ dollar is the main driver in wage constraint,decreasing the returns of NZ producers which would increase local investment,reduce debt,and increase local job growth.

    The increase in the rate of subsidized imports from say china,whilst deflationary is a significant problem from local producers.

    The foremost singular change in the economy would be a decrease in the NZ forex rate ,which would entrain an increased wealth redistribution to NZ.

    • Rusty Shackleford 7.1

      “The foremost singular change in the economy would be a decrease in the NZ forex rate ,which would entrain an increased wealth redistribution to NZ.”

      err… from whom to whom? From people who buy petrol, pharmaceuticals and household appliances to farmers? Sounds like a fair deal.

  8. infused 8

    Good news is, Aussie is about to hit the shitter. Something I’ve been saying for along time. Everything there is stagnant. Average time to sell a house in some parts is 1 year.

    • felix 8.1

      Ooh that is good news. It’s about time they stopped buying so much of our exported produce, that’s getting to be a real drag.

      And with any luck there’ll be tens of thousands of kiwi expats coming back home to look for jobs that aren’t here and compete for accommodation we already can’t afford too.


  9. KJT 9

    This is a real fudge. Typical RWNJ statistics.

    Average wages have been pushed up by 17% rises at the top end and the loss of many jobs at the bottom.

    Median wages or ordinary time rates give a more realistic picture.

    At the same time real inflation, of the things people on low to moderate incomes buy, has been considerably more than 10%.

    Food. power, petrol, transport and housing have risen while things that only the wealthy can afford have dropped.

    A basket of groceries in Northland has risen nearly 20% since the same time last year.

    A 40% drop in the price of 56 inch flat screen TV’s and new BMW’s does not help most people make ends meet.

  10. Foreign Waka 10

    Maybe we all have to buy another 56 inch flat TV to really feel the benefit of this extraordinary feel good factor. On a low interest loan – hurry because this is another “saving”. Meanwhile, winter is here and the power prices are rising. Which will just be the beginning. Once the companies are privatized and have to provide a ROI of ever increasing rates, the bill may be $0.00 – no power. Use blankets, wear all the clothes you can get from Sally’s -and yet another saving. Cooking? Not needed, veges are too expensive and meat, well….. better get a special from a Takeaway. See, budgeting 1-2-3. Easy as. With these fantastic increases in wages outstripping inflation, one can tell that this Government is really looking after you. And once the statistical basket for this measure contains a new car, things really will get a lot better because we all know used cars are getting far too expensive.

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